Having God’s Perspective
Today, as I read yet again Jesus’s rebuke to Peter, I found it difficult to move past His words. It struck me, as it has done several times already, how different God’s perspective is. from ours.
But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.”(Matthew 16:23 NKJV)
I did two things.
I checked the dictionary for the meaning of ‘mindful’ and I looked at numerous other translations of this verse. I will share my findings here hoping this helps us build on my previous post – ‘What are your concerns?’.
Here are a few definitions of the adjective (to be) mindful:
To be conscious or aware of something: How aware or conscious are we of the things of God; of the things that matter most to God – His kingdom, the salvation of people, our becoming more and more like Christ, etc.?
Careful not to forget about something: Life is so, so busy and we have legitimate and illegitimate demands for our resources – our time, our money, and our talents. In the busyness, we have to do our utmost to not forget what the core of our life is – our worship of God. This worship translates into our thoughts, words, and actions where we’re completely focused on His mission of building the body of Christ.
Bearing in mind: This particular definition gives me a picture of my mind actually being filled with something; carrying something. The goal is to have our minds full of God and His kingdom as much as possible even while we go about our daily business of living on this earth. That influences how we actually live.
Here are some different bible translations of the latter part of this verse:
“… you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”NIV
“… You are thinking merely from a human point of view, and not from God’s.”NLT
“… for you are not setting your mind on God’s purposes, but men’s.”NASB
“… You don’t care about the things of God, but only about the things people think are important.”NCV
“… you think like everyone else and not like God.”CEV
What these different translations show us is that there is a way God thinks; a perspective of life and this world that He has. As regenerated people, we should desire to think and see life the way He does. We should seek to have God’s perspective. We don’t start off doing so but if we read our bibles and spend time with Him in prayer with the aim of getting to know Him better, our minds will be renewed such that over time, we will think, act, and be like Jesus more and more.
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.Romans 12:2 NLT
2 And set your minds and keep them set on what is above (the higher things), not on the things that are on the earth. 3 For [as far as this world is concerned] you have died, and your [new, real] life is hidden with Christ in God.Colossians 3:2-3 AMPC
The only way we will survive this season as Christians is to have a singular focus on God. I speak to myself and you, dear Reader, as I counsel, “Focus on God and not your problems”. Let’s seek primarily His kingdom and His righteousness (Matthew 6:33), letting Him rule and reign in our lives as King.